STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T) NOTE: Marlin once again led the way for Dodge with a ninth-place finish. It was his 10th top 10 finish in 18 starts this season. "We were a little tight early in one and two and...
STERLING MARLIN (No. 40 Coors Light Dodge Intrepid R/T)
NOTE: Marlin once again led the way for Dodge with a ninth-place finish. It was his 10th top 10 finish in 18 starts this season.
"We were a little tight early in one and two and good in three and four. It was reverse the last hundred laps. We were good in one and two and tight in three and four. We gambled and I think we had a top five car. Some guys pitted early and got track position. It was a good run, but we were just tight all day. Everybody had a lot of gear in their car. We turned about 9,000 (rpm's) all day. Some guys had more gear than we did, and some guys probably had a little more camber and probably just burned the tire up and blew it out.
"I think he (Tony Stewart) got loose. We came up off the corner and I was dead on him. The 97 was right on me. I couldn't check up. I knew I'd get run over. It was too late to even check up. Tony kind of wiggled and by the time I got up on him I just barely touched him and he turned around. It skinned the front end of my car up a little bit. We just need more downforce in the front to do what we need to do. We've got to run so much right rear spring in the cars to make them turn. We just need of what the Chevrolets have got, turn our noses out and give us a little more downforce. "Track position killed us today. The track was OK, but the outside groove was a little slick. You couldn't get on the outside. Atlanta was like that. Texas and Vegas were like that. This time next year it'll be OK."
BILL ELLIOTT (No. 9 Dodge Dealers Dodge Intrepid R/T)
NOTE: Elliott finished 10th, his third top 10 finish in his last five starts.
"I think we might be down on motor. That's the best I've had a car drive in awhile, but I couldn't beat ^Ñem down the straightaways. I don't know if we're out of drag or whatever. The track wasn't bad. It was pretty one groove, but other than that it wasn't bad. I was pretty disappointed. I wanted to finish a little bit better, but coming out of here with a 10th-place finish for us is a good day. We just need to keep nipping away at it. If we can get the car driving as good as it did today and get a little more aero wise and motor wise we'll be all right."
BUCKSHOT JONES (No. 44 Georgia Pacific Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We slipped in some oil, and that was all she wrote. The spotter had just keyed the mike to warn me, but that's the way it goes. My right knee is hurting a little bit right now, and I imagine I'll be sore tomorrow, but I'm OK. We got down a lap early and kept adjusting on the car and got it pretty decent. I kept running as the first car a lap down for a long time, but we never managed to get our lap back. I just hate it we tore up a good car."
DAVE BLANEY (No. 93 Amoco Ultimate Dodge Intrepid R/T)
NOTE: Blaney finished 12th after starting 43rd in a backup car after wrecking his primary car in practice Saturday.
"From about lap 50 on we had a really good car. We just fought track position all day, and it was so hard to pass. You could be three-tenths faster than a guy and once you got to him, you'd just lose the front end to where you couldn't get a run on him. We finally got there part way. The car was fast enough to stay up near the front. I think if we had just got track position any time during the race we could have finished a lot better. Considering the weekend, it was a pretty good finish. We struggled with both cars yesterday, so I don't know if we would have been any better with the other car. We were just too loose with it in practice, and I just let it get away from me. One or two more races and the track will be good. It'll have a second groove. It was a good smooth day for us. Everything went pretty well. We had good pit stops. We had a good car and didn't make any mistakes. I think everybody was fighting it a little bit today."
TOMMY BALDWIN (Crew chief No. 22 Caterpillar Dodge Intrepid R/T)
"We made some changes before the race and we fixed what we were struggling on, but we left some things that hurt us today and we couldn't get out of the car. The way the pit stops were falling and all that stuff hurt us. Finishing 20th, that's a lot better than I thought we were going to finish. We'll take it and run. We fought a tight condition most of the day off the corner and just couldn't get it out. We fixed what we were struggling with, but some other problems came up."
RAY EVERNHAM (Car owner Evernham Motorsports Dodge Intrepid R/Ts)
"It wasn't what we wanted today, but at least we got a top 10. The Dodges are still struggling a bit. Our power curve just doesn't get up off the corner and that's where we got beat. We would have liked to see a top five out of the 9 car, but at least we got a top 10 for Dodge. That's good. We just need to get a little bit better. The 19 car could have had a good day, but they just need some luck. There's nothing you can do about a flat tire. The guys are doing a good job. We've just got to get faster. It feels OK to be back down on the pit box (Evernham had spotted for Elliott the last two races). Mike (crew chief Ford) and the guys on the 9 team are doing fine, so I tried to help out the 19 team."
TIM CULBERTSON (Program Manager, Dodge NASCAR Winston Cup Engineering)
"Ninth, 10th and 12th, we're not very pleased with that, but it's not embarrassing, either. These mile and a half tracks, we've got to figure these things out. If you've not good on a mile and a half track, you're going to struggle in any kind of championship. Sterling picked up a place today in points, and that's one good thing we can take away from here. Right now, we've got a lot of things to work on, and we're going on it hard."